A South African Christian pro-life group says there is a “desperate need” for united action against abortion which has resulted in the legal killing of more than 1,1 million babies in the country since February 1997.
“Maybe, never before has there been such great a need for Pro-lifers to stand together regardless of their various affiliations,” says National Alliance for Life (NAL) chairman Dr Albu van Eeden in a letter calling on pro-lifers to participate in a National March for Life in Durban on International Life Chain Sunday, October 7 — a day when Life Chain events (peaceful, sidewalk demonstrations by placard-bearing pro-lifers) are held in various South Africa cities and in more than 1 800 venues in the United States.
Van Eeden’s grave concern about the abortion culture in South Africa was echoed recently by Catholic Auxiliary Bishop of Durban, Barry Wood, who compared abortion in South Africa with the Holocaust and the Bosnian and Rwandan genocides. Wood was addressing more than a thousand people of all ages, who participated in a ‘Walk For Life’ through the Durban city centre and a ‘Mass of Reparation’ on September 8.
The Christian pro-life stance that abortion is murder is based on a view that the Bible and medical science make it clear that life begins at conception.
The statistics behind the pro-life leaders’ strong words are:
• More than 1,1 million legal abortions in the past 15 years — and many more illegal abortions.
• Nearly 78 771 legal abortions last year — a 31% increase on the previous year.
• An estimated 6 legal abortions per 1 000 women, and 38 illegal abortions per 1 000 women. (Source — National Health Department, according to report in Sowetan Live on June 15, 2012).
Referring to the recent Lonmin Mine shooting, Van Eeden writes: “When the police opened fire on a huge crowd it is an indication that something is disturbingly wrong in South Africa. Yet according to government statistics on the same day that 34 killings took place in Marikana, one can estimate that 200 legal abortions occurred in our country.
“For such an undeniably weighty issue, the silence surrounding abortion in the public square is highly worrying and the finger is pointing squarely at anybody holding a pro-life conviction. One would dare to say that images of police shooting armed and violent strikers are far less disturbing than the silent deaths that occur in our midst every day.”
He says:”This situation cannot be allowed to continue. There is a desperate need for all South Africans to do something!”
He says that in 1997, during the passing of the law legalising abortion, pro-lifers stood together. The NAL — a loose affiliation of churches and organisations — convened a conference and decided to institute an annual March For Life. Once again the NAL is trying to revive the annual march on the first Sunday of October, he says. The idea is to start the march at 14h00 so as not to interfere with church services. The purpose of the march is to “stand up for those (pre-born babies) who can’t speak for themselves”.
The March for Life from 14h00 to 17h00 will start at Chris Saunders Park, Umhlanga Drive, Umhlanga. Participants are urged to bring banners, but no banners with abortion images may be displayed. More information about the march can be obtained by calling Maleshoane at 032 481 5550.
Details of Life Chain events are:
- Johannesburg (Bryanston): Saturday, October 6, 10h30 to 12h00. To be held outside Marie Stopes Clinic, 18 Peter Place, Bryanston. For more information contact: Michelle Joseph: 082 6096 919 or email@example.com.
- Cape Town: Sunday, October 7, from 14h00 to 16h00. To be held in Buitengracht Street, near entrance to Waterfront. For more info contact: Africa Christian Action: (021) 689 4480or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Bloemfontein: Saturday 6 October, 9h00 to10h00.To be held on sidewalks around Mimosa Mall.For more info contact: Dr Faan Oosthuizen: 083 265 9395 or email@example.com.
- Port Elizabeth: Sunday 7 October 2012.For more info contact: PE Church NET, Shaun or Diana Gouws: 082 979-9412 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- East London: Saturday, 6 October, 11h00-12h30.Meet on the corner of Oxford Street and St Matthew’s Road, around the corner from Marie Stopes Clinic. For more information contact: Frans 082 774 6649 or Judy 043 726 9900 or email@example.com.
Life Chains have been held in South Africa every year since 1992. They were launched in the USA in 1987 and this year’s events will be the 25th anniversary of the movement. The first March for Life was held in the USA in 1974, a year after the Roe v. Wade decision legalised abortion. More than 400 000 people attended the 2012 event in Washington DC.
Meanwhile, supporters of abortion are holding a Global Pro-Abortion Action Day on Friday (September 28) with activities planned in 30 countries. The Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues, a global pro-life ministry, urges pro-lifer leaders in affected countries to be prepared to counter the “Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion” with life-affirming messages.